In March 2020, the Beckley Area Foundation established the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund (CERF), which was created to support local nonprofit organizations working to provide aid to those impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.
Doug Ramsden, CERF Committee Chair and BAF Treasurer, said, “To serve as a member of the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund Committee has been a tremendously rewarding experience. Since the virus became known last year, the fund has received well in excess of $100,000 from donors who determined someone else's needs were greater than their own. Over 30 non-profit organizations applied and received grants to support the communities where they reside. Funding has allowed organizations to deliver food boxes to thousands of individuals including families living in Raleigh, Wyoming, Webster and McDowell counties. The emotional impact one receives in response to these grants is life changing.”
The donations have been used to grant $114,669.24 to 37 different nonprofit organizations in Raleigh County and surrounding areas. One of our latest grants benefitted the Itmann Food Bank to help supply food for low-income families in their area.
Arnold Simonse, Director of Itmann Food Bank, said "The winter season is always a difficult time for low-income families in Wyoming County, but COVID-19 has presented a new set of problems as the pandemic has left our county with even greater challenges in providing food. Loss of employment has added to the already large number of folks who rely on the food pantry to provide food for their families. The Itmann Food Pantry's food budget has been stretched, but thankfully, funding from the Beckley Area Foundation will allow us to provide special help to families whose food needs have been stretched even further as a result of the pandemic."
BAF would like to thank everyone involved. The community stepped up in a very big way when people needed it most, and these CERF grants would not be possible without the donations BAF received during this time.